Although perhaps surprising, the vast majority of enterprise organizations are making decisions about their T&E budgets and overall spend without a complete view of their data. And although automation helps, it does not provide the full picture. Enterprises are not taking full advantage of possible savings in their T&E spending because of outdated systems that impede a timely and proactive spend management strategy. In February 2014, Forrester Consulting evaluated the state of T&E spend management in a study commissioned by Concur Technologies. In a survey of 348 financial decision-makers around the world, Forrester found that T&E is the second most difficult item for companies to control. Most firms wait for their employees to manually enter their T&E data after the expenditure is already made so that the resulting T&E reporting process focuses on retrospective compliance and budgeting. Analysis of T&E trends and potential cost optimization, if done at all, is done primarily via spreadsheets.
s study yielded these key findings:
Data is entered manually.
Eighty percent of firms rely on T&E data entered manually, after the event, by employees
even when the organization uses an automated system. This is not only time-consuming and error-prone; it means that the companies have no real-time insight into the data to optimize spend.
Companies are hampered by reporting shortcomings.
Forty-two percent of the firms were not able to import data from disparate sources, including external systems, at all. For these companies, T&E analytics is time-consuming and probably ineffective.
Few companies have a real-time view of T&E.
Although over one-quarter of respondents claimed to have this visibility, the survey reveals that the vast majority of firms do not have the capability to process travel expense invoices, such as hotel bills and rental car charges, automatically into their internal systems to enable full transparency and control over their T&E spending.
T&E systems lack of mobile capabilities.
Sixty percent of the respondents
feel that access to information via mobile devices is too limited, which means decision-makers do not have immediate access to the business insight they desire.
Businesses want more capabilities.
As part of this study, respondents were asked what capabilities their current T&E analytics tool lacks when it comes to providing business insight and informed decision-making. In addition to the firms being unable to import data from disparate sources, 43% think the ability to easily create and modify reports is lacking.